Assassin’s Creed Unity: Elise announcement and reservations
For anyone who likes to stay abreast the almost constant flow of news pieces, trailers and what not about the upcoming Assassin’s Creed, you may have seen the newest trailer that showed that Ubisoft can have a women character (shock) and she’s a Templar! The thing is this both excites me and from what I can gather from the trailer annoys me greatly.
Having a women villain is a great direction, the endless procession of middle aged white men in the Templar ranks was getting tiresome, so having a young women join them shows that the Templars are kinda spreading their influence all through society in a real way, and not just at the golf club where I presume they found most past members. It also raises some interesting questions, how does the Templar ethos work with others? Is a women afforded more rights as a Templar? You’d certainly think so, otherwise why would she join up in the first place unless she thought she’d be getting a better world out of it.
The big issue I have with what’s presented in the trailer is a possible relationship between Elise and Arno. As each game’s story line has become more complex, we’ve seen the blurring of lines between Templar and Assassin, Edward Kenway was barely either, playing on off against another, Conner only joined the Assassin’s to get the tools to get revenge and find his Templar father. The way these two organisations has progressed is one of the more interesting parts of the series. Its clear that Elise will be the crux of the emotional tension in the game, perhaps with Arno knowing she’s bad but unable to resist her, she knows this and plays him against his allies, only for the end of the game being where she gets pregnant with Arno’s baby (remember they need a way to continue the blood line). It could lead to an interesting quandary for Arno choosing weather to join her and the Templars or stay with the Assassin’s (The video game version of Bro’s before Ho’s, perhaps)
But why does it have to be for love? Why must Elise be the focus of Arno’s affection, couldn’t she persuade him using actual policy and rhetoric? If you think i’m exaggerating, go watch the trailer and tell me that you don’t think those two are at it all the time when not killing. The scene of those two on the platform, with their backs to each other, swords out, as guards swarm the area, if there was dialogue it would have gone something like this:
Arno: Fine mess you’ve got yourself in this time.
Elise: I had them right where I wanted.
Arno: Of course you did.
The two lock eyes for a second.
All their banter will be witty and nauseating, as you the player sits watching this verbal foreplay at home screaming ‘Just bang already!’ and you’ll winch at references to his hidden blade when it’s clearly his penis their talking about. Just the thought of it makes me want to burn every 90’s romantic comedy in the house. Of course we can’t have two people of the opposite gender, who trade verbal barbs without a hint of underlying sexual desire can we? Of course we can! We just choose not to, I blame Shakespeare and his Taming of the Shrew, there he had a feisty young women who was way ahead of her time in terms of feminist role models, who after some witty verbal swordsmanship (and imprisonment) is tamed by the wild man. It’s happened in Star Wars, Zorro and loads of others films, books, plays etc.
So please Ubisoft and the writers they’ve hired, have Elise be more than a pretty face, whose slight divergence from the path of righteousness can be corrected by Arno’s ‘Hidden Blade’. Have her be a dyed in the wool Templar (being a Templar doesn’t make you evil) who overcomes the desire to be with Arno and his three hooded mates (who are those guys?) because her work is more important to her. Not everyone’s happy ending is running off with prince charming, so maybe hold off making it hers.
Of course everything I’ve said here is based purely on speculation and informed almost entirely by what I’ve seen from the trailer and the knowledge that any key women characters in the series past have gone on to be love interests in order to continue the Altair blood line. So if I’m wrong about their intentions for the character I will be over the moon, and will run through the streets with my hidden blade on show for all to see.